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Exhibition Art reflects the resolve of anti-war cause

Powerful pieces visually reflect and aid the political determination of Stop the War, writes JOHN GREEN

IT IS amazing to recall that Stop the War Coalition (StW), founded in 2001, is this month celebrating its 20th anniversary and that it is 18 years since millions took to the streets in Britain to protest against Blair and Bush’s war mania in 2003.

Since then StW has continued to organise and campaign vigorously against the continued misuse of armed might to intervene in the affairs of other countries with dire consquences for those living in the Middle East and Afghanistan and in the refugee crisis that is unfolding across the world.

In the process of mobilising huge numbers of people against foreign wars, StW movement has inspired a wide range of artists, designers, filmmakers, photographers and musicians. They have used their skills to help the movement project its message, to create a vibrant record of its activities and produce a body of anti-war art that has spoken personally to millions.

To commemorate this 20th anniversary, StW is presenting a unique exhibition of the anti-war movement. NO bridges the worlds of art and activism and brings the movement to life with remarkable immediacy. It combines both art and history that will forever be marked by the millions who took to our cities streets motivated by a profound desire for peace.

The exhibition reveals a wide spectrum of creative works, in diverse media and styles: shock-value posters, stitched banner work and other textiles, music, film, photography, prints, paintings and site-specific installations, including a film of a work that has been painted onto the apartheid wall in Palestine.

The works have been culled from the coalition’s archives and wider artistic collections. They include the recurring and very effective “blood splat” placards designed by David Gentleman, Vivienne Westoood’s calico prayer flags and satirical anti-Trump placard originals, now produced in a limited giclee (fine art quality) series for this exhibition.

 There is kennardphillipps’s Tony Blair selfie and Brian Eno’s unpublished musical works on the Iraq war. Also on view are Banksy’s cardboard placards that were used on the original 2003 march.
 
Great protest movements have always inspired artists and the anti-war movement of the last 20 years is a remarkable example of that. Not to be missed. Visit it now and immerse yourself in 20 years of Stop the War history.

Entrance to the exhibition is free, and it features work from artists including Banksy, Vivienne Westwood, Ben Eine, David Gentleman, Brian Eno, kennardphillipps, Katherine Hamnett, Robert Montgomery, Martin Rowson, Ed Hall, Karmarama, Noel Douglas, Amir Amirani, Jess Hurd, Jim Aindow, Guy Smallman, Kristian Buus and Steve Eason.

10am-4pm every day until September 19 (except Monday September13) Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts, 181 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ

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